Without doing the calculations or using Google, I want you to guess how many minutes make up one week. I’ll give you just a few more moments. Some of you are refusing to answer, and some of you have already looked ahead. Shame on you both.
For those of you who played along, how many of you guessed 10,080 minutes?
That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? So, why is it that we feel so strapped for time?
Why is it our spouse and kids are always saying we don’t spend enough time with them?
Why is it we’re always scrambling on the weekend to get our work done?
Why is it that there always seems to be these elite few that are capable of getting done two to three times as much as the average person?
Because most of us don’t have a time problem, we have a time management problem.
And once we learn how to manage our time, our families will be happier, we’ll feel less stress, and we’ll be more productive.
Here’s how you get started:
- Schedule the Important. My pastor always says this, “You can tell what a person values by looking at their calendar and their checkbook.” All of us will say our marriage is one of the most important things in our life, but how often do you and your spouse go on a date? We’ll say we want our kids to love Jesus, but how often do we sit down with them to read the Bible and pray? The disconnect between what we say is important and how we actually live our lives causes the frustration we feel. If it’s important to you, it better be on your schedule.
- Learn to Say No. If you’re going to be able to schedule the important, you’re going to have to say no to a lot of other things, which is hard for pastors who are people pleasers. Just keep in mind when you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. If you’re spending five nights a week at the church, that’s five nights a week you aren’t home with your family. If you have to make every hospital visitation, you’re probably going to end up missing some of your kids’ ball games. Many pastors have lost their families because they said yes to the demands of the church, which in turn meant saying no to their family.
- Give Yourself Deadlines. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate. If the sermon is supposed to be done by Thursday, don’t wait till Thursday to start working on it. “But you don’t understand I keep getting interrupted and things happen,” see number 2 above. If you’re supposed to work till 5pm each day, don’t be getting home at 7pm. Form some deadlines, and stick to them.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. The three suggestions above get so much easier if you learn to delegate. Write down the three or four most important things you do, and then delegate the rest. I believe it was John Maxwell who said, “If someone can do it 80% as good as you, let them do it.” If you’re mowing the church lawn, stop it! If you’re doing the church maintenance, stop it! If you’re doing all the visitation, stop it! Delegate those tasks out. Let someone else get the blessing.
I’m convinced that time management is one of the biggest differences between average leaders and great leaders. If you can learn how to do this well, you will see a huge difference in your church, but more importantly in your home.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your time management skills? Have you mastered this skill, or do you find yourself feeling frustrated? Leave a comment and let me know. While you’re here make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.